Mumford and Sons @ Genting Arena, 23rd November 2018

Genre defying music magicians Mumford and Sons can do no wrong. Their timeless records morph into an undulating discography of brilliance that is only mirrored in their electric live shows. New album Delta is a mystifying amalgamation of atmospheric electronic R+B mixed with bits of folk and rock, a transformative record that adds to their already impressive catalogue. Taking Delta on the road Mumford and Sons took over the Genting Arena their mind boggling talents on full display. 

Indie electronic pop soulstress Maggie Rogers opened the evening. Playing hits like ‘Give A Little’ and ‘Falling Water’ alongside a slew of yet to be released tunes Rogers warmed up the night with her experimental sound. 

After a relatively short turnover the blackened stage warmed with punk hued lights, an acoustic intro breaking the silent still air. As the drum kicked in and the instrumentals expanded Mumford and Sons walked on, ‘Guiding Light’ streaming through. In worshipful adorations fans immediately raised their hands amidst yelps of glee, admonishing the gods that took over the stage. The familiar intro of ‘Little Lion Man’ came next, eliciting an immediate response of excitement. As a grin spread across pianist Ben’s face the foursome launched into an enthusiastic rendition of the hit record, impressive as they have no doubt played this song a million times.

The high tempo mishmash of folk and rock continued as ‘Lover of the Light’ started. As red lights descended Marcus jumped on the drums giving the playful song a climatic edge. Clearly fans were into it as they responded to ‘Lover of the Light’ with thunderous applause. 

Pulling from their new album Mumford and Sons transitions to atmospheric ‘The Wild.’ As the lights lowered an intimate feeling permeated the arena, despite the fact that there were over 16,000 people in the Genting the mood felt personal. The electronically tinged space creating sounds which transported us to an enchanted forest, wandering around as the vocals ebbed and flowed. The lull in energy did not last long, as ‘The Wolf’ brought an ecstatic release of energy. As the instrumentals came to a crescendo the rock edged song revived the mystified crowd. 

The bombastic energy continued as Mumford and Sons launched into climatic ‘Babel.’ A sonic rollercoaster ‘Babel’ is a quintessentially Mumford styled creation, crashing acoustic folk sounds with rock, the record has an unparalleled energy that is matched by the masterful manipulation of instrumentals. ‘Thompson Square Park’ flooded the arena with sound as Marcus’ vocals crashed into the steady drum kick. As Winston roamed the stage the rest of the band congregated in the centre, ending the song with a ruckus release of instrumentals. Transcendent electronic pop rock ‘Believe,’ with its expansive vocals and airy atmospheric creation provided a lovely little break from the hard-hitting records. Steeped in imagery the song nicely displayed the depth of Mumford and Sons lyrical content. 

As Maggie Rogers was welcomed back to the stage massive anthemic ‘Beloved’ took off. The R+B electro pop rock song seemingly conjures up reflections of death, a sobering undertone to the blaring sound. As Maggie and Marcus joined vocals I was convinced that there is no more perfect pairing of artists, the two creating an indescribably brilliant sonic moment. 

After such a release of energy everyone in the stadium needed a little breather. Mumford and Sons responded by stepping to the side stage where they performed stripped down acoustic versions of ‘Ghost That We Knew’ and ‘White Blank Page.’ With heavenly stillness the songs floated around the stadium, anchored by a breathtaking violin. The emotional punch of the acoustic songs also displayed the folk roots of the bands first album conjuring that campfire sing-along motif. 

‘The Cave’ brought a resurgence of energy as Marcus’ booming voice played against the quick paced folk rock song. A rowdy festival vibe the song brought fans up off their seats, jumping in tune with the beat. The rowdiness continued as ‘Roll Away Your Stone’ filtered in. As Ben leapt from his piano and Ted trounced around the stage the flurry of instrumentals created a wild cacophony of sound. Steady rock ‘Ditmas’ gave way to broody atmospheric ‘Picture You’ before the band ended with a jam session and spoken word piece ‘Darkness Visible.’

The encore found a single microphone on stage, huddled together Mumford and Sons played an awe inspiring acoustic version of ‘Timshel.’ The song is a staple in the Mumford and Sons live show and always elicits awe and wonder as the sheer beauty of the moment is inescapable. As the stage warmed under red lights and a heartbeat style backtrack opened, haunting atmospheric ‘If I Say’ began. Ramping up with rock injections the song showed that perfect harmony that Mumford and Sons is able to create in their genre defying tunes. Coercing fans to have a little sing along ‘Awake My Soul’ was a clear fan favourite, its drum kicks energizing weary fans. The night ended with folksy mega hit ‘I Will Wait’ and album title track ‘Delta.’

It is hard to argue against the fact that Mumford and Sons are impressive musicians. Their transformative albums continuously wow fans with creativity and imagination, while their live shows pack in an overwhelming amount of energy. With sonic perfection Mumford and Sons once again owned the stage, creating a night to remember at the Genting Arena. 

Reviewer: Kylie McCormick

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